I made this yogurt cake on a whim a few years ago because I wanted to try substituting butter. Very quickly, it became a favorite! It's super moist and has a different texture from usual pound cakes. Sometimes I make it all lemon and also add half sour cream, which makes it even better. Both variations are in the recipe card.
On one side I'm quite traditional when it comes to cakes, you know, you cream butter and sugar, add the eggs, blah blah.
They rarely fail, like the popular lemon pound cake, one of our top 10 recipes.
But being the proliferous baker that I am, things get boring pretty quickly, and one of the ingredients that caught my eye at the time was yogurt. It seems like a lifetime ago as yogurt is a common ingredient in baking.
This yogurt cake was the first one I tried. I was hooked.
The fact that it doesn't have butter makes for a very different cake in flavor and texture.
The acidic part of the yogurt makes it tender and moist. Sort of like what buttermilk does. It comes together quickly and bakes beautifully.
- Lemons and limes: I use both whenever I can, but since limes are tricky sometimes (not enough juice, not much flavor), I also make this cake with just lemons. Both versions are excellent.
- Yogurt: the other key ingredient. It needs to be natural (no sugar), and Greek yogurt works well.
- Eggs: fresh, large.
- White granulated sugar.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works and is infinitely cheaper.
- Vegetable oil: any type you like works. Usually, it's sunflower oil, but I also use light olive oil sometimes.
- All-purpose or cake flour.
- Baking powder: is used as leavener to help the cake rise, so make sure it isn't expired.
- Salt: I like using kosher salt or fine sea salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Yogurt: I found that different brands make a slight difference in the cake's texture, so you might need to find the one you like the most. I don't recommend using low-fat yogurts.
- Storing: it keeps very well for several days. I suggest wrapping and refrigerating it after 2 days. Or freeze up to a month.
- Citrus glaze: I use a simple powdered sugar glaze, and it works great because the cake has enough citrus flavor to balance the sugary coating. A sprinkle of powdered sugar also works if you want a simpler cake.
- Individual bundt cakes, so cute with the glaze dripping slowly. Never fails to impress the neighbors.
- Muffins, a recipe yields at least 12 regular muffins.
- Snacking cake, it's a good recipe for making a single layer 9-inch round or square cake.
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For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose or cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar
- ½ cup (120g) plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
- ½ cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature
- ½ cup (125g) vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
- Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- Juice, from above
- Zest to decorate
For the cake:
- Preheat oven at 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Spray or butter a 10x4-inch (27x9cm) loaf cake pan and line with a strip or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat sugar, yogurt, sour cream, oil, eggs, half the lemon and lime juices, zest, and vanilla for 1-2 minutes.
- Add dry, sifted ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in 2 parts and beat just to incorporate well. Don't overbeat or the cake will be tough.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The surface will be shiny and possibly cracked, not as dry as regular cakes.
- Let cool on a wire rack and unmold carefully.
For the glaze:
- Beat powdered sugar with remaining citrus juice until no lumps remain. Add juice in batches so you make it as thick or runny as you wish.
- Pour over room temperature cake and decorate with zest before it hardens.
Size variations - Individual bundt cakes, so cute with the glaze dripping slowly. Never fails to impress the neighbors. Muffins, a recipe yields at least 12-14 regular muffins. Snacking cake, it's a good recipe for making a single layer 9-inch round or square cake.
Storing: it keeps very well for several days. I suggest wrapping and refrigerating it after 2 days. Or freeze up to a month.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 50
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/10
- Calories: 354
- Sugar: 34.6 g
- Sodium: 153.3 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.2 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Protein: 5.9 g
- Cholesterol: 61.7 mg
Keywords: lemon yogurt cake